Player of the Week - Alexis Sanchez
Sanchez helps Arsenal win the Cup!
Arsenal beat Aston Villa 4-0 to retain the FA Cup they won last year. The Gunners have now won the oldest football competition in the world a record 12 times! Alexis Sanchez was the star performer and scored one of the greatest goals in recent FA Cup history. Theo Walcott gave Arsenal the lead in the 40th minute with a fantastic volley and in the second half there was only one team that was going to win the trophy. Sanchez's moment arrived five minutes into the second half. The Chilean forward hit the ball from 20 metres with amazing power and the ball swerved so much it gave the Villa goalkeeper no chance. Per Mertescaker headed Arsenal further in front and the substitute, Olivier Giroud, scored the fourth goal in injury time and the final result was a fair reflection of Arsenal's dominance.
"So happy to lift my first FA Cup. Come on Gunners!" Alexis Sanchez.
Is Sanchez Arsenal's best ever signing?
Arsenal made their first major summer signing of 2014, with the addition of Chilean international, Alexis Sanchez, who they bought from FC Barcelona for a reported fee of between £30 and £35 million. The forward became the second most expensive signing in Arsenal's history, after the signing of Mesut Özil in 2013, and has added more firepower to Arsenal's squad. The Chilean arrived in London after a successful World Cup campaign, where he scored 2 goals and was unlucky to see his Chilean team lose to the hosts, Brazil, in a penalty shoot-out. In his first season with the Gunners, Sanchez was named in the PFA team of the Year and named Arsenal's Player of the Year.
"I want Alexis to have a good holiday now." Arsene Wenger talking about Alexis Sanchez after the FA Cup Final.
What do we know about Sanchez?
Alexis Alejandro Sanchez Sanchez was born in December 1988, and is from a small city called Tocapilla in the North East of Chile. His first major club was Cobreloa in Chile. After only 1 season with Cobreloa, Italian club, Udinese bought him and sent him on loan to top Chilean club, Colo-Colo, where he won the Chilean Championship. The following season, he was sent out on loan again, this time to Argentinian giants, River Plate. Again he helped his team win the league. In 2008, Sanchez moved to Italy and had three successful seasons with Udinese before moving to Spain to play for FC Barcelona. During his 3 seasons with Barcelona, Sanchez won 6 Spanish and international trophies and scored 39 La Liga goals in only 88 appearances. One of the highlights of his time with the Catalan team was scoring the winner against Real Madrid (2-1) in October 2013.
"He has consistently produced top-quality performances at the highest level for a number of seasons now and we are all excited to see him in the Arsenal squad". Arsene Wenger
Why did Sanchez choose Arsenal?
Sanchez has spoken about why he's joined Arsenal, and there are a number of reasons. Some of those reasons include Arsenal's style of play and the manager, Arsene Wenger. Sanchez has said, "Arsene Wenger's style of play is the sort of style the Chilean national team has, so I am used to it." Sanchez has also said, "Arsenal play very well, which fits my style." Another reason is his teammates and winning trophies, he says, "With Özil in the team, Arsenal was close to winning the title and I hope we can win as many titles as possible." Sanchez is happy to be at Arsenal, and his new teammates are also happy to have him at the club, Arsenal forward, Theo Walcott, has said, "I cannot wait to play with him, I am really looking forward to it."
"I’m so happy to be joining Arsenal, a club which has a great manager, a fantastic squad of players, huge support around the world and a great stadium in London." Alexis Sanchez
What do we think?
Sanchez has scored goals in four different countries and won league titles in three of those countries (Chile, Argentina and Spain). Sanchez has scored plenty of goals in the Premier League, helped Arseanl win the FA Cup and has been very exciting to watch. With other forward players, such as Theo Walcott, Mesut Özil, Olivier Giroud, Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal have played some fantastic attacking football this season. Will it be enough to win the Premier League next season? We will have to wait and see!
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Did you know......?
Alexis Sanchez wasn't the first player from Chile to score a goal in the FA Cup final. George Robledo scored for Newcastle in 1952!
Sanchez never goes anywhere without his two dogs called Atom and Humber. He takes them on holiday and has even taken them to training!
Sanchez is normally known by his first name, Alexis, which you will see on the back of his shirt.
Alexis was the youngest-ever Chilean international, he was just 17 years old.
His first club, Cobreloa, is based in Calama, one of the world's driest cities, with only about 8 cms of rain per year!
What do you think?
Has Alexis Sanchez been a good signing for Arsenal?
Was he the best new player in the Premier League last season?
Are Arsenal a 'cup team' or can they win the Premier League next season?
Leave a message in the comments section below.